Whether you are an individual or a company, you should approach online security in the same way that you would approach physical security for your home or business. Not only will it make you feel safer, it will also protect people visiting your website. In the fast-paced world of technology, it is not always easy to stay ahead of the latest developments. For this reason, it is wise to partner with a reputable IT Support company when purchasing your SSL Certificate.
What is an SSL Certificate?
In the simplest terms, an SSL Certificate protects the information transferred between the web browser of your PC or mobile device and the web server of the website.
Every day, sensitive information such as email ID’s, passwords & bank details are sent across cyber space using the internet. If such confidential data is transmitted unprotected, there is significant risk of it getting into the hands of cyber criminals. You can see if a website has an SSL Certificate by checking for the padlock in the address bar. Clicking on this padlock will show the company information and whether the SSL Certificate is valid. If you are entering sensitive and confidential information on a website that does not have a valid SSL Certificate, your information is not secure and is at risk of identity or data theft.
What does it do?
If you compare an SSL Certificate to physical post, then it is the equivalent of the envelope. The envelope is designed to keep the documents inside safe. Simply put, that is what an SSL Certificate does. It safeguards any information being transferred between a client and server. This is done via encryption.
The other benefits of an SSL Certificate are that it increases Google rankings, builds & enhances customer trust and improves conversion rates.
What is encryption?
This is where it gets a little bit more complicated, unless you are a techno whizz, so let’s try and explain this in the simplest terms. Encryption, quite simply, is a code. If you send any data on a secure website, that piece of information is converted into an unreadable string of characters. For example, if your password is 1055, then it will be converted to something like ^^kst%.=/*s This makes it, virtually, impossible for a hacker to decipher the information, even if they manage to intercept it somehow. Although this encryption technique has been around for centuries, today’s encryption methods are much more complex. Algorithms that are so complex in nature that even supercomputers can’t crack them, are applied to change the data into an undecipherable format. Apparently, it would take a supercomputer over 100 years to crack the 256-bit encryption. That sounds pretty secure!
How does an SSL Certificate work?
They work by using a cryptographic key to digitally bind an organisation’s details. This involves using two distinct cryptographic keys, the private key & the public key. The public key is used for encryption purposes and the private key for decryption. The information encrypted using a particular public key can only decrypted using the private key attached to it. A secure connection is made if the client can verify that the public key matches the private key. In summary:
• A browser or server attempts to connect to a website secured with SSL. The browser/server requests that the web server identify itself
• The web server sends the browser/server a copy of its SSL Certificate
• The browser/server checks whether or not it trusts the SSL Certificate. If so, it sends a message to the web server
• The web server sends back a digitally signed acknowledgement to start an SSL encrypted session.
• Encrypted data is shared between the browser/server and web server
Do I need an SSL Certificate?
The short answer is yes! Where it was once sufficient to depend solely on basic antivirus software and firewalls for protection, that is no longer the case. In order to secure customer trust and confidence in your business, you will need an SSL Certificate to protect from cyber-crime. If you hold any data on visitors to your website, then it is your responsibility to take active steps to counter the possibility of identity & data theft.
How do I get an SSR Certificate?
You should speak to your trusted IT Support agent who can supply and install your SSR Certificate either when setting up your website or subsequently.